Genesis 1:26 Then God said, "Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and over all the creatures that move along the ground."
Because all are made in the image of God, every human being has value. Quality of life is not what gives me value. I have value as a human being—and so does everyone else—because our human worth is in the imago dei (we are his image-bearers--made in God’s image). Our identity as Christians comes in all the things God says about us.
Yet, we live in a day when many base the value of a human being on whether his mother allows him to keep living or pays to have him mutilated. A Christian’s perspective on abortion, racism, immigration, poverty, and more must begin with the imago dei. Everything else hinges on that.
One of my goals in life is to know as many people as humanly possible. Seriously. The world is full of amazing people created in God's image. But be careful, Christian. An inability to genuinely affirm anything positive about those you disagree with may reveal a denial of the imago dei and Gen. 1:26-27.
Let’s get more practical with this verse. As always, we can’t unpack everything (it is a devotional). But racism is a violation of the Gospel itself. The devil loves to fan the flames of every shade of racism and stoke its fires and then convince us that it's justified. The Gospel guarantees that one Day all inward and outward expressions racism will be eternally eliminated.
As we go into our week, we have the privilege of treating everyone as created in God's image, loved by him, and equal with ourselves. True Christians do not tolerate other races and vibes. They positively delight in what God created. They see Him in others. Do you?
Father, we praise you today that we all have value because you have assigned us value in your name. We praise you that the unborn, the lame, the blind, the handicap, the strongest, the weakest, the richest, and the poorest—everyone—has been made in your image. Yet, through sin we have distorted that image. I pray that you help us to see people as you see them—yet, help us to share boldly the Gospel so that everyone may know Christ as well. Father, we love you and praise you. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
Genesis 2:7 "Then the LORD God formed a man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being."
God does amazing things with ashes and dust. Real dust. Real man. ""Just as we have borne the image of the man of dust, we shall also bear the image of the man of heaven"" (1 Cor. 15:49). God made man from dust (Genesis 2:7). Men made a tower from bricks (Genesis 11:3). That tower is dust, but man still stands.
There is not one particle of dust or one breaking of your heart beyond the control and redemption of Jesus. This is why we believe in a literal 6 days, actual dust, a real talking serpent, a real whale, a genuine virgin birth, a physical death, a literal, physical resurrection and the second coming. I believe—do you?
Though created in God’s image, Adam failed. Yet, Jesus nailed. And all by sovereign power and decree--God's grace prevailed. The minds of seraphs cannot comprehend, nor can the voices of archangels tell the glories of our Savior. How much less a man made of dust! Thank God for the Gospel today!
Father, we are dust. Though created perfectly out of nothing but dust, we sinned. Father, our representative, Adam, the literal and historical person, fell and we have all fallen since. Father, we praise you that the Second Adam, Jesus Christ, fully God and fully man, came to live the life we couldn’t live and die the death we couldn’t die. All for your glory and our salvation. O to be broken before the dying Christ, to lie in the dust of undeserving, and wIth exquisite joy. Father, thank you making us unique despite our sin. We love you and praise you forever. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
Psalm 100:3 "Know that the LORD is God. It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, the sheep of his pasture."
The Lord is God and I am not. Let that sink into your mind for just a moment. The Gospel demands a choice. It cries out: “How long will you limp between two opinions? If the LORD is God, follow Him; but if Baal, follow him” (1 Kings 18:21).
The first great commandment is to love God with our whole being, but how rarely do I hear people pray, ""Lord, I love you."" We too often hear ""be strong and courageous"" without hearing ""for the Lord our God is with you."" That is the promise of this verse! Jesus is the is the door, the pasture, the stream, the shepherd, and the Lamb. The joy of the Lord is our strength. The grace of God is our salvation. The faithfulness of God is our hope!
May we remember that there are no easy assignments in God's kingdom. Every vineyard has its boulders, and every pasture its wolves. Praise the Lord who has brought us this far. He is perfect in all His ways. He is a compassionate God who knows that we are but dust.
Father, we are the people of your pasture. Your pasture—not ours. We didn’t create ourselves—you are the Creator. We don’t sustain ourselves—it is your grace from beginning to the end. It’s grace we will never comprehend. Why would you draw the ones that ran from you? What can we do but offer your praise! And we do that now in Jesus’ name. Amen.
Isaiah 2:22 "Stop trusting in mere humans, who have but a breath in their nostrils. Why hold them in esteem?
"In God I trust; I shall not be afraid. What can man do to me?" (Psalm 56:11). Human disapproval is nothing, when God smiles. I put no trust in ""8 steps to successful manhood” or something similar, but in my one great Savior who redeems the fallenest of men and women such as us. Likewise, do not trust or admire a man who is passionate in his convictions about culture but passive in his convictions about Scripture.
Some trust in horses and chariots. Some rely on human-made resolutions and re-dedications. But our hope is built on nothing less/more/other than Jesus. And my political stance: ""Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the LORD our God” (Ps. 20:7).
Who or what are you trusting in today? “Woe to those who trust in chariots because they are many but do not look to the Holy One of Israel or consult the Lord!“ (Isaiah 31:1). In quietness and in trust shall be your strength. Waiting upon the Lord can be difficult; submission is a sign of maturity. Solid. Strong. Stable. Those who trust in the LORD are like Mount Zion, which cannot be moved, but abides forever.
Father, there is nothing in this world that we trust more than ourselves. We are selfish and we trust those who are also selfish. Father, help us to the see the greatest trust is in you. Our only hope is you, Lord. You are the only faithful one that has given us all things in Christ—our Savior and Lord. Though hypocrites and fools, you draw us to the truth. For your own glory you make all things new—including my lack of trust. We pray this today in Jesus’ name. Amen.
1 Corinthians 15:45 "So it is written: 'The first man Adam became a living being"; the last Adam, a life-giving spirit.'"
Insanity: The first Adam hid among the trees because of sin. Glory: The second Adam died upon a tree for our sin. Where the first Adam failed, the Second Adam came to win. Why? So you'd escape the first Adam's curse and live in the Second Adam's grace.
What’s more, if I don't believe in the historical Adam as the first man, I'd be consistent not to believe in the historical Jesus as the second Adam. That’s why, like famed preacher Charles Spurgeon, we can say: ""Sinner, where art THOU?' God comes to man; man seeks not his God.” That was Spurgeon’s take on God's seeking Adam in Gen. 3 after the first sin.
Friend, the greatest news we have today is that Jesus came to save sinners such as us. Do you know the first Adam (physical death) or the Second Adam (spiritual life)?
Father, thank you that you are historical. Thank you that all in the past happened because you are real. What confidence we have to come to you! You have gave life then and give life now through Christ! Thank you for saving me. Thank you for holding me about in your grace! In Jesus' name. Amen
Acts 17:25 "And he is not served by human hands, as if he needed anything. Rather, he himself gives everyone life and breath and everything else."
Three great reminders from this verse today: God is worthy. God is not needy. But you are!
We're constantly in need of something, but God is eternally able and willing. There's hope for all of us. Nothing is more powerful than a revelation of God's kindness to a needy soul. His love breaks more than hammers and wounds more than whips.
Again, let this be on your heart today: God is not needy; we are. God is not dependent on us, but we are helpless without him. God didn’t make you because he was lonely. God didn’t make you because he need companionship. He created you for his glory and to live out your life for his glory in your life.
God hasn't called us to fix any and everybody—including ourselves--but to constantly take our needy, thirsty, and broken selves to His Son, Jesus Christ. What are you waiting for today?
Father, we admit it today. Sin has left us weak and needy. We admit it because we also admit that your grace has anticipated and is meeting all of our needs. Thank you, Lord, that you use suffering and sin to burst our bubbles of perfectionism and remind us how needy we really are. That is your grace. Thank you that our greatest need is always to be thankful and reminded of the Gospel of your Son. I pray this all in Jesus’ name. Amen.
Acts 13:48 "When the Gentiles heard this, they were glad and honored the word of the Lord; and all who were appointed for eternal life believed."
O Christian brother and sister, are you amazed that your faith came from this? You see, salvation alone that’s from God's sovereign call and through His perfect calling is to His supreme glory. I have no claim to salvation—no boast, no hope, and no assurance of sins forgiven and righteousness received—apart from sovereign grace.
From the manager to the cross to coming consummation of the age, it’s all one big Gospel-focused story of God's sovereign grace. By his sovereign grace, when God came to earth he gave his life for hard-hearted rebellious haters and made us broken-hearted adoring sons. The faith (means) by which we believe and the faith (content) THAT we believe, are equally gifts of sovereign grace.
God's sovereign grace in predestination is an anchor for my soul and a pillow for my head. God's promises aren't a blank check we write to ourselves; they are God's pledge of sovereign grace to right us. If you haven't yet grasped the reality of God's sovereign grace spend more time examining how sinful you are, then rejoice.
Father, we thank you that your grace is sovereign. You make all things new! I was not saved by my own effort or good works. I was saved by the grace given to me in Christ and Christ alone. Come revive our weary hearts with this truth! Shine on us now. Light of life, come ignite our longings heart. Our hope isn’t in what we do – but all you have done eternally, freely, and providentially in your plan of salvation. Lift the dark clouds of unbelief today and shine upon my soul now—for by your rays I see. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.